ABO incompatibility

ABO incompatibility

ABO incompatibility is a condition when a person receives a different blood type in a blood transfusion procedure. This can trigger a reaction of the body's immune system causing symptoms such as fever, nausea, and shortness of breath.

A blood transfusion is a procedure to replace a person's blood lost due to injury or surgery with donor blood. In a blood transfusion, the patient will receive the type of blood as needed, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or blood plasma.

Blood transfusions are generally safe to perform, but in rare cases, this procedure risks causing health disorders, including ABO incompatibility.

Causes of ABO Incompatibility

Blood types are generally divided into four types, namely A, B, AB, and O. The division is based on the type of antigen in the blood, namely:

  • Blood type A contains antigen A
  • Blood type B contains antigen B
  • Blood type AB contains antigens A and B
  • Blood type O does not contain antigen A and antigen B

ABO incompatibility occurs when a person receives blood from a donor whose blood type is different. As a result, the recipient's immune system forms antibodies that attack the cells in the donor's blood, because it is considered a dangerous substance for the body.

ABO incompatibility generally occurs as a result of mistakes in filling out the donor form, identification of the blood type of the donor or recipient, as well as giving the blood label before it is given to the recipient of the blood donor.

In addition to blood transfusions, ABO incompatibility can also occur in someone who has an organ transplant from a person with a different blood type.

Symptoms of ABO Incompatibility

Symptoms of ABO incompatibility that may appear after receiving a blood transfusion include:

  • Fever
  • Turn
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart beats fast
  • Pain in the infusion area
  • Chest pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes ( jaundice )

When should you go to the doctor?

If you experience symptoms of ABO incompatibility during or after receiving a blood transfusion, immediately convey the complaint to the doctor . You also need to see a doctor if you experience symptoms of ABO incompatibility after undergoing an organ transplant operation.

Diagnosis of ABO Incompatibility

If symptoms of ABO incompatibility appear at the time of blood transfusion, the doctor will immediately stop the transfusion process. After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination and the patient's vital signs, such as body temperature , blood pressure, and heart rate.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor can perform supporting examinations, such as:

  • Blood tests , to detect damage to red blood cells or anemia
  • Urine test, to detect hemoglobin in the urine due to the breakdown of red blood cells
  • Blood type test , to ensure the same blood type between the donor and the recipient

Treatment of ABO Incompatibility

Treatment of ABO incompatibility can be done by immediately stopping the blood transfusion process . Furthermore, the doctor can give medicines to the patient, such as:

  • Antihistamines, to overcome allergic reactions
  • Corticosteroids , to deal with swelling and allergic reactions
  • Medicines to raise blood pressure

Complications of ABO Incompatibility

ABO incompatibility that is not immediately addressed can cause a number of the following complications:

  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

Prevention of ABO Incompatibility

ABO incompatibility can be prevented by the doctor or nurse who carries out the blood transfusion process. Some of the efforts that can be made to prevent ABO incompatibility are:

  • Ensuring that the blood type of the organ donor or blood donor matches the recipient's blood type
  • Label the blood type accurately on the stored blood bag
  • Rechecking the patient's blood type and blood bag before the transfusion is done
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